Thursday, May 28, 2009

Anti Smoking Arguments: Think of the Children!

Most people, when they don't understand the basic concept behind something, will come up with very soft arguments or statements engineered to tug at the heartstrings of those who are undecided. There has been a -not very- subtle smear campaign against all tobacco harm reduction products lately. One of the most "compelling" arguements they use is to "think of the children".....this product, with its fruity flavors and "gizmo" appeal, will bring new, young, and impressionable minds into the deadly embrace of smoking tobacco. They usually follow this up with a stated goal that there will be "Not one more generation of Americans addicted to tobacco!!!"

Nothing could be further from the truth, but who will argue against a demonized device given this horror story up front....not many.

But, the argument can be deflated, given the following thoughts:

You say you are afraid that these devices would entice children to the habit of smoking cigarettes...I say, unequivocally that nothing could be farther from the truth. First, the median age for users of this device is 40 years of age, far away from the age that children start smoking.

Second, these children would have to have the initial start up cost of $100-$150. Not impossible, I know, but it would knock a substantial percentage of children from the risk.

Third, there is a long learning curve on these....I have been using my E-Cigarette for 3 months, and still have to fight with the different components.....which are an emerging technology, and prone to equipment failures. This would remove even more children from your risk zone, as they would not be willing to put the time, further money expenditures for failed equipment, and aggravation factors into a new gizmo when they can just go down to the local gas station and buy a pack of tobacco cigarettes for less than $10.00.

Fourth, there is all the regular maintenance on the device, with filling and replacing the stuffing in the nicotine cartridges, cleaning the atomizers, and charging the batteries. Again, what young teen is going to go through all this work when tobacco cigarettes are so much easier to use and obtain?

Fifth, the multitudes of E-Cigarette users in the US have used these as an alternative to tobacco, and will not willingly go back to tobacco for various reasons, taste and general feelings of better well-being immediately coming to my mind. This is not, and should never be considered, a gateway to tobacco, as cigarettes come up lacking in many areas of our enjoyment of this product.

I believe your fears that this is an enticement device to lure children to the dangerous habit of smoking cigarettes are unfounded, and if you give this some thought and research, you will find many positives in this technology, which, even though in its infancy, has been the one device many ex-smokers have used as a cleaner alternative to traditional tobacco.

I have included some links that might be helpful to you in your deliberation of this sensitive issue:

This petition is a collection of many true-life stories of people who have found this technology

This is the site of Smokefree Pennsylvania, the director of this organization is Bill Godshall, and an advocate of the

Monday, May 25, 2009

Waxman and Kenedy Bills, Altria and the FDA

H.R. 1256 (Waxman) and S. 982 (Kennedy) Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Acts

I am trying to get information of 2 flawed Tobacco Control bills in the right hands before they are voted in by the Senate and signed into law. These 2 bills would sign the death warrant on current cigarette users by misinforming them of safer alternatives to smoking-including E-Cigarettes, or by allowing the FDA to remove these products from the US marketplace outright.

I would ask that everyone ask their elected officials: Oppose this legislation unless/until it is amended to allow currently marketed smokefree tobacco/nicotine products to remain on the market, and
- Support tobacco harm reduction amendment(s) for smoke-free tobacco/nicotine products that are consistent with provisionsin S.579, Burr/Hagan - and H.R.1261, Buyer - bills.

Highlights on HR 1256 and S 982 Tobacco Control Acts

These bills were Sponsored by Altria/Philip Morris, manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes. You have to wonder over the logic behind a corporation pushing for legislation that would put further restraints on the way they manufacture and advertise their products, right? I must ask the question, why? I believe I have found the answer in the following:

These bills would grant the FDA Regulatory control over traditional tobacco cigarettes -But not the ability to halt sales of tobacco cigarettes. Altria's position in the US nicotine market would thus be secured by this regulation. And

The FDA would have Complete control over new smokefree tobacco and/or harm reduction products, holding these to pharmacological testing standards to be marketed in the US instead of mirrored against the product they are intended to replace (cigarettes), and can halt sales/importations.

Reading between the lines, here, this bill will eliminate Altria's competition in the nicotine marketplace by blocking the sale and import of cleaner competitors' products, like my beloved E-Cigarette. Beautiful move by one of the corporate giants in America, but very underhanded to manipulate a govenrment agency to protect their market share.

Ask your representative today to demand changes in the S.982 Tobacco Control Act until it incorporates harm reduction measures!!!

What is a personal vaporizor???

Just what is a personal vaporizor? Some call it an electronic cigarette, or E-Cig. It is a product first produced in China in early 2004, by inventor Hon Lik, to mimic the act of smoking. In fact, the company, beginning as Golden Dragon, changed its name to Ruyan, which means "like smoke" in Chinese as enthusiasm for their product began to grow. To date, they have a small footprint in the USA, but I have hope that they will continue to increase their presence.

Yup, you guessed it, I am a current user of these products, and they have allowed me to entirely cease smoking cigarettes after more than 20 years of trying - and failing - to quit this habit.

How do they work? There is a liquid solution of propolyne glycol, vegatable glycerine, water, flavorings (food grade flavors) and nicotine. I leave the nicotine last on my list, because, one, it is the smallest ingredient by volumn in the solution, and two, it can be totally removed without harm to the user, the devise, or the end result of the product. This liquid solution is called e-juice, niquid, juice, smoke juice, or variants thereof. With the exception of the nicotine (optional!!) all the ingredients in this juice are GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA and already included in the multitudes of food and pharmaceutical products sold in the US.

The juice is loaded into a small cartridge of polyfill batting, and is loaded into an atomizer. The atomizer in turn is attached to a small rechargable battery with either an automatic (activates by sensing airflow) or manual (you push a switch) activation switch. Once the atomizer has been fired up, the juice in the cartridge vaporizes in the high temp. You then inhale the vaporized "smoke" as you would a cigarette.....There you go, you're vapin', baby!

I have used this new toy of mine exclusively since March 10th, 2009. It has completely replaced my old cigarette habit.....I no longer smoke the tar or carcinogens associated with burning leaves and paper and glue. This is a clean alternative for my continued enjoyment of recreational nicotine consumption - cleaner because I am no longer inhaling burnt carbon smoke, no longer providing smoke of any kind to the atmosphere, no longer throwing spent butts or ash out in my trash or my car window.

I urge any smokers out there who are ready, willing but not quite able to quit their tobacco habit to look into these products.....2 good resources, and ones I will often quote on my blog as it comes to fruition are: The Electronic Cigarette Forum at and the Electronic Cigarette Association at There are links to both of these websites at the right-hand side of my blog.